But what about Sorority/ Sisterhood?

Mary Poppins – Sister Suffragette

In my last blog I wrote about Fraternity lost and found again and how it needs to accompany liberty. [https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/thepositivefeministphilosopher.com/484 ] But what about soritity or sisterhood?

French Revolution

Liberty Leading the People – Eugene Delacroix (1833)

In the French revolution, liberty, equality and fraternity were the main catch phrases in de demands of citizenship. Fraternity was not the same as solidarity. Sisterhood and ‘sisters’ were left out. Feminists like Olympe de Gouges , who demanded women’s citizenship rights, were hanged. Political organizations of women became forbidden. What happened in the French Revolution got repeated in many, many revolutions afterwards.

The Execution of Olympe de Gouges

The Last Two Hundred Years

Slowly, after a lot of struggle, in the last two centuries many formal rights for women have been acknowledged within rights in western countries. And since there is a huge difference between having a right in theory and having a right in practice, finally other laws and measures are coming in place, realizing these rights for women. For instance, measures and laws such as getting women’s quota in industry ( https://wordpress.com/block-editor/post/thepositivefeministphilosopher.com/463 ).

Sisterhood: Lady France and Lady Liberty together

Sisterhood within Feminism

What about sorority/ sisterhood amongst women? In the 19th and 20th century sisterhood was a catch phrase in feminism. Afterwards however we saw almost the destruction of feminism and sisterhood, because some ‘sisters’ claimed that there was only one type of feminism: theirs. Everyone who did not comply to those ideas had to be banned. The same phenomenon had taken place earlier in communism, socialism and in many religious movements, there with unnumerous deaths as a result. But also by calling names, gossiping and refusing other people to wear the same label as you have (socialist, Christian, feminist), you can cause anomisity, withdrawal in isolation and the killing of a movement.

The Need for Tolerance and Plurality

So in order to survive as a lively feminist movement, philosophy and social life, tolerance and plurality are required. There are many types of feminism and feminists. Hurray for that. It means that we can disagree, argue and discuss with another. If we do this with respect to the opinions of the other, and if we try to consider those opinions seriously, it will always make our philosophy stronger.

Rianne Voet

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